February 24th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

7 people evacuated from Syrian city, Red Cross says

[Updated at 3:29 p.m. ET] Rescue crews evacuated a few wounded and sick women and children from the besieged Syrian city of Homs, a spokeswoman for the International Committee for the Red Cross said Friday.

The Red Crescent evacuated 7 injured people from the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs on Friday, transporting them to the Al Amin hospital on the outskirts of the city, according to Hicham Hassan, Mideast spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Government forces have been shelling parts of the city - especially the neighborhood of Baba Amr, a bastion of anti-government sentiment - for about three weeks, damaging houses and other buildings and leaving many dead and wounded.

The shelling comes amid a nearly yearlong crackdown on people protesting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, activists have said.

In hard-hit Baba Amr, many homes have been destroyed by shelling, and streets were strewn with rubble, a CNN crew observed there last week. Hundreds have been living in makeshift shelters, having left their homes out of necessity or fear. The CNN crew reported that the shelters were running low on food, medical and other supplies.

Activists have reported several to tens of deaths daily in Homs since the shelling began three weeks ago.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria claims more than 8,000 people have been killed throughout Syria since the uprising began last March.

Al-Assad has denied reports that his forces are targeting civilians, saying they are fighting armed gangs and foreign fighters bent on destabilizing the government. But many accounts inside the country say Syrian forces are killing civilians as part of a crackdown on anti-government opposition.

Friday's evacuations came as representatives of world powers met in Tunisia and called for a political solution in Syria, as well as what one diplomat called a "tsunami wave" of pressure that would peel away internal support for the embattled regime.

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Filed under: Syria
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. CNN reader

    How can Americans donate to help this Homs evacuation?

    February 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spendlove

    NATO is fudging this one up, we should be helping over there.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CenTexan


      February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Princess Celestia

    This is now pony thread.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gh


    February 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I encourage you to turn off your caps lock.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realities

      Are you absolutely insane??

      February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are You Kidding?

      I think Assad is a disparate coward. He isn't saving his country he is destroying it. He can try to spin it any way he wants but by mass murdering the people in cities that dog just don't hunt!. You on the other hand aren't much better. You might want to consider the blood of the people being killed. You want to blame the CIA you are surely insane...nuts etc.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      I encourage Gene to do the same.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CenTexan

    I am tired of being the world's policeman. This situation is terribly sad...but we are hurting here at home too. Let's fix us before others.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Your blindness to atrocities is puzzling! How can you even think the comparison?!

      February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • CenTexan

      @Frankie, in case you've been living under a rock...news flash! We are BROKE!

      February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Also, who said any assistance should only come from the US? This is a UN issue. Some people here worry about the morning after pill and turn a blind eye to human slaughter. What is wrong with you?

      February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • WVU


      February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      CenTexanmerely said we shouldn't be the world's policemen.
      And we shouldn't be.
      Another country can take the NATO lead.
      It's been done before.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are You Kidding?

      we can't be the worlds policemen all by our selves. But there are other countries that might want to consider the only way to deal with Syria and Iran is direct action. They have for the last 30 years paid blood money to terrorist to go out and kill while they hide behind the walls of there offices. and yes we are about broke....but some of our debt is held by a dishonorable country of china who really has no honor.. Russia and china are blocking any UN actions...the Chinese made version of the ford f-150 is all the proof we need to say we don't owe you clowns anything.

      Bring the jobs home

      February 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jokesterer

    It's a massacre! MMMMMASSACRE!

    February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mohatred-pbum

    George Clooney made a movie there once called Syria, looks like there's no chance for a sequel? Praying for George's career, hope things clear up soon so they can start shooting the next film!

    February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vDavid

    evacuating the women first – misandry at its finest

    February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Christopher

    This is not a civil war. It is not a group of insurgents. Call it what it is. It is a revolution. The Syrian people are fighting against an oppressive dictator for their liberty. Thank god for the Red Cross. Assad is a monster.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. the real deal

    god bless these poor and innocent people

    February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Livin in Toronto

    All the countries involved, went to Afghanistan with the best possible intentions. You see how well that's gone. No wonder we can't agree on an approach to the current disaster in Syria. Damned if you do, ........................

    February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ryan

    centexan ,thats true we are hurting here at home... but are we hurting like these people? your coment seems incredibly shallow and without any compassion for other human beings. and that is even sadder

    February 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Christopher

    The will of the Syrian people cannot be repressed any longer. Assad will swing from the gallows...and rightfully so.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ghostclown

    Why is this bigger news than the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who lost their lives during the US occupation in the last decade? I certainly don't like to see innocent communities targeted this way, but it's very strange to me that this is such big news. The media ignores larger atrocities than this all the time. What's the agenda?

    February 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sarah

    Ignorance at it's finest. How can you be that heartless? Imagine being faced by shelling day and night.. No food, water, or medical help. Doesn't seem as logical to allow him to continue this genocide now, does it?

    February 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • kls817

      We need to stay out of Syria for two reasons:
      1. We can't afford it.
      2. The post-Assad environment can easily be worse than before. Civil war, sectarian violence will erupt there in the struggle for power.
      Remember Afghanistan in the 1980's. We armed the rebels who eventually expelled the Soviets, and they turned into the Taliban who oppressed Afghanis. Turns out they were better off with the Soviets.
      Remember Iraq when Hussein was removed. The country exploded in sectarian violence. It was relatively easy to get rid of Hussein, but we spent the next several years trying to stop the "people" from killing each other.

      Don't be a bleeding-heart idiot.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      I would like to see the US handle this the way they handled Libya. Right now, Russia and China are blocking international action; eventually, they will fold. When a UN coalition starts to form, or whem the Arab League begins to take action, the US should provide High-Tech support (AWACs, C-130 gunships, Drones) to assist. No US casualties, some monetary cost, continued building of US prestige in the world (we don't start wars, but we contribute to ending them).

      February 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I am pleased some evacuation is going on, but to get to Sarah's point I would ask here what did she think happened when we invaded Iraq. Do we somehow conduct a 'humane' war, and yet the Syrians do not? Since we humanely kill ( whatever that means ) that is acceptable but the Syrian war is somehow beyond acceptance. I wonder if you were to ask an Iraqi family that lost say a child ( bombed/shelled by us ) of their characterization of what happened to them, whether they considered it acceptable – and remember there were near on a quarter of a million casualties in that war ( many civilian ). Similarly, look to Turkey – the Kurdish community has been oppressed there for decades. In addition about 30 000 ( US government estimates )kurds have been killed by Turkish military action. Perhaps that was humane and thus acceptable? Well it would seem so because we do not complain about that. Bottom line – war is ugly. As long as we whitewash the actions of ourselves and our allies of the moment for our publics benefit, and correctly ( I add ) expose those of governments we do not like we are nothing but hypocrits and there will never be an end to this kind of thing.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • inchik

      kls817 is right on the money.... nice analogy with Afghan. If US would have let Soviets crash it that time, we would of prevented so many terrorist acts. "Niceness and bleeding hearts" do not pay off when you talk about nations with lack of civility.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      How do you call less than 5,000 deaths in a year genocide. Go look up the definition again before you make an ignorant remark. We need to be careful of the terminology we employ lest we devalue the true essence of the meaning and then desensatize people of the true essence and nature of the event. Using hyperbolic language only serves to put forward irrational policy.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      To kls817, the problems you refer to in Afghanistan were created by Reagan & GHW Bush. The problems in Iraq were created by GW Bush & Cheney. Obama won't be that shortsighted in dealing with Syria.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      I'd love to see the US park a carrier battle group 15 miles off the coast of Syria.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      To Robert: In the 1957 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group children of the group to another group."

      Smells like genocide to me. What don't you get?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
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